Control Panel – Die cast aluminium enclosures
For many compact junction box type control panel applications where I require to house electronic or pneumatic components, I tend to choose die-cast aluminium enclosures.
“Die-cast aluminium is a high resilience material that provides robust, safe and reliable encapsulation to design components and available upto ip66 nema 4 rating, Khurram Waris said”
Many die-cast aluminium enclosures also come with threaded holes ready to fix support rails or mounting plates. When buying for industrial application, ensure there are ground connections ‘PE’ on enclosures as well as cover and securing screws are rust-proof. Many of these die-cast aluminium enclosures have additional accessories, for instance – wall mounting brackets, earth straps and steel mounting brackets. It is worth to spend time to make a complete design part lists prior choosing the enclosures. Unfortunately, component-off-the-shelf COTS design only have fixed sizes so a full ‘scaled drawing’ sketch might help to get it right first time. I would also suggest considering cable type and termination methods well in advance during the design stage. Various cable glands are available and some of these die-cast aluminium enclosures are shipped with placeholders so electrical manufacturer could simply replace those with cable glands.
“It is essential to consider type of cable termination for die-cast aluminium enclosures as we wouldn’t want to lose IP rating by drilling new holes for cable termination”
I have always opted to choose compact die-cast aluminium enclosures for electronics assemblies. These provide perfect home for design involving System On Chip SOM modules, Computer on Module COMs, Raspberry PI and distributed sensor measurement applications using National Instruments c-series modules.
Innovation often requires innovators and designers to visualise the whole picture well before coding and purchasing. For electronics design, encapsulation is always quintessential and must be thoroughly contemplated. I hope designers find above tips useful for their next industrial automation project. And if your project involves encapsulation of electronics components in enclosures, I also suggest that you leave a silica gel before tightening the screws. It will help electronics breath well and live longer!